Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsWhen Rascal Flatts kicks off their Riot tour this weekend, fans don’t have to worry about whether or not the band will be playing the songs that made them famous.
“That’s what we all hope and dream to do when we stand in front of the mirror with our Goody comb and sing into it, is to have a bunch of songs that have touched people so much that they want to hear ‘em every night,” Jay DeMarcus says.
But he admits performing their hits night after night can be redundant.
“While it does, fifty shows in, get old singing ‘God Bless the frickin’ Broken Road,’” he jokes, “I’m so happy that we have that song to do it, and I’m so thrilled that people care enough to wanna pay money to see us sing that every year,” he reflects.
Jay believes having so many hits can be both a blessing and a curse, but ultimately, he knows how he feels about it.
“It kinda limits what you’re able to do with your live show and you can only switch it up and change it up so many different ways. But, when I stop and think about it when we’re off the road, I actually miss playing those songs ‘cause they’ve been such a big part of people’s lives.”
Rascal Flatts’ first stop on their summer tour is tonight at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in St. Louis.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge will be the musical guest Monday, June 1 on Late Night with Seth Meyers.
You can watch the video for Love & Theft’s latest single “Whiskey On My Breath” at People.com.
Rascal Flatts’ Joe Don Rooney, Jana Kramer, Chuck Wicks, J.T. Hodges, and Rae Lynn will take part in Eric & Jessie Decker’s first annual charity casino night. Proceeds from the June 16 event in Nashville will benefit charities that help the military, veterans and animals.
Image Courtesy Big Machine RecordsIt’s no surprise that Tim McGraw likes all kinds of music, having recorded songs far afield from traditional country as his collaboration with rapper Nelly on his hit “Over and Over.” But Tim says he wanted to cut his latest single, “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” because it reminds him of the songs he listened to when he was just a kid.
“I grew up loving country music, and I'm a country music singer. I'm like everybody else. I love all kinds of music, and I love incorporating all kinds of music into what I do. I'm a fan. I grew up being a fan of the Eagles, and there's a big Eagles influence in the music that I do. I was a Merle Haggard fan and a George Strait fan. So, when a song comes along that's just a really great story, country song, it's fun for me to record,” he reflects. “I’ve had a couple of those throughout my career, and it's always fun to have those. It just has a grittiness to it that I really love, and I love to sing it.”
Your next chance to hear Tim live comes June 5, as he brings the Shotgun Rider tour in Little Rock, Arkansas. Meanwhile, you can see him co-starring alongside George Clooney in the new film Tomorrowland.
RCA NashvilleChris Young’s sexy video for his latest single “I’m Comin’ Over” debuted Thursday on CMT. The new clip, shot entirely in Nashville, depicts Chris in a fling with a scantily-clad barista who left her number on his coffee cup.
“I’m Comin’ Over” is Chris’s thirteenth career single, and the first from his fifth album, due this fall. More than 70,000 people downloaded the song the first week it was available. You can watch the video now at CMT.com.
David Giesbrecht/NBCMiranda Lambert, Jennifer Nettles and Martina McBride seem more than ready to match wits with the Texas-based radio consultant who recently compared female country artists to tomatoes.
In an article for trade publication Country Aircheck, Keith Hill extolled the virtues of playing fewer women on the radio, going so far as to say “If you want to make ratings in country radio, take females out.”
“Trust me, I play great female records and we’ve got some right now; they’re just not the lettuce in our salad,” he went on to say. “The lettuce is Luke Bryan and Blake Shelton, Keith Urban and artists like that. The tomatoes of our salad are the females.”
Hill’s salad analogy provoked a firestorm of comments on social media.
Jennifer Nettles’ Twitter comments threatened to match Hill in the controversy department.
“Don't worry babe. I see an opportunity here. [A] big ole vagina shaped opportunity. #yesisaidvagina #trynottofaint,” she tweeted.
Martina McBride asked her Facebook followers if they agree with an assertion Hills made in the article that female listeners would prefer to listen to male artists.
“Wow.....just wow,” she commented. “Do you not like to hear other women singing about what you are going through as women? I'm really curious. Because to me, country music is about relating. Someone relating to what you are really going through on a day to day basis in your life. Did you girls (core female listeners) know you were being 'assessed' in this way? Is this how you really feel? Hmmm....”
Perhaps Miranda Lambert came closest to having the final word on the subject, in a series of tweets. “This is the biggest bunch of B*LLSH*T I have ever heard,” adding “I am gonna do everything in my power to support and promote female singer/songwriters in country music. Always.”
Image Courtesy Sony/Blue ChairKennyChesney’s The Big Revival Tour is summer’s hottest country concert, according to StubHub. The list is based on the site’s ticket sales from Labor Day through Memorial Day, with Kenny ranking ahead of major acts like Rush, Foo Fighters, Billy Joel and Ed Sheeran. U2, The Rolling Stones, Grateful Dead and One Direction all finish ahead of Kenny, with country alum Taylor Swift claiming the top spot.
This Saturday night, The Big Revival tour pulls into Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, with Eric Church, Brantley Gilbert, Chase Rice and Old Dominion joining Kenny for the date.
CMAAs the son of '90s country star Rhett Akins, Thomas Rhett has grown up knowing country superstars like Reba. As a kid, Thomas remembers dressing up for a few Halloween parties at Reba's house, and his dad toured as her opening act for a few years. That connection between Thomas and Reba continues to this day.
Says Thomas, "You know, we're on the same record label now, which is crazy, and dad wrote her latest single that's out, ['Going Out Like That']. So, Reba has, in strange ways, been a part of my life since I was a young kid."
Now that Thomas is a country star in his own right, he's come to rely on Reba's advice as he works on his upcoming, sophomore album.
"She came and saw me in the studio the other day and was hanging out and listening to new songs," Thomas says. "She's always just been great at, like, giving great, knowledgeable advice just about the music business and how to sustain yourself in the music business."
On top of her status as a country legend, Thomas says Reba really does have a heart of gold, too.
He adds, "She's the sweetest, most down-to-earth, kind human being, and she's played a huge role in me kind of evolving through this."
Thomas's as-yet-untitled sophomore album will be out later this year. He's currently climbing the country charts with the new single, "Crash and Burn."
Comstock/ThinkstockBlake Shelton and Miranda Lambert first met when they sang one of country's all-time greatest duets for a CMT special in 2005. What was the duet? ANSWER: "You're the Reason God Made Oklahoma."
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockDierks Bentley has been named an honorary co-chairman of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association Foundation's Hat in the Ring Society, which supports the Foundation's Air Safety Institute. Morgan Freeman and Harrison Ford are among the other co-chairmen.
Miranda Lambert, Brantley Gilbert, Jake Owen, Josh Turner and Trace Adkins are on the bill for the first-ever NIFI Festival at the Kentucky Speedway in Sparta, Kentucky August 28 through 30.
Montgomery Gentry's new video, "Folks Like Us," is now live at CMT.com.
Black River EntertainmentKelsea Ballerini recently played her first arena concert as an opening act for Lady Antebellum. The gig was even sweeter since Kelsea is a huge Lady A fan and stood in line to meet them a few years ago at the CMA Music Festival in Nashville. Kelsea was thinking about that meeting when she joined Lady A on stage for a joint performance during the band's headlining set.
Kelsea tells ABC Radio, "It's like one of those moments where you're just like, 'Life is so cool.' That was a very cool moment for me."
Though they've only recently shared the stage, Kelsea and Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott have been friends for two years now. They meet through a mutual songwriter friend, Ryan Griffin, and Hillary quickly took Kelsea under her wing.
"She has just kind of encouraged me," Kelsea says. "So, to be able to do a first [arena] show like that with a friend like that is really cool."
Kelsea is riding high on the country radio chart with her debut single, "Love Me Like You Mean It." Her debut album, The First Time, is on sale now.
Valory Music Co.Brantley Gilbert's Platinum Edition re-release of his album, Just as I Am, has landed the project at #1 on Billboard's Country Albums chart. The set also hits the top 10 on the overall Billboard 200 tally. The expanded version of the project includes the song "Just as I Am" as well as a remix of Brantley's hit single, "Bottoms Up," with rapper T.I.
CMADierks Bentley's decade of success as a country star means most everyone knows how to pronounce his unique first name. That wasn't always the case, though.
"I’ve seen it spelled and pronounced wrong so many times," Dierks tells Glamour.
Though many suspect "Dierks Bentley" is a stage name, Dierks is actually the maiden name of the singer's great-grandmother. Not that anyone would know that when they criticize it, which they apparently do.
Says Dierks, "People tell me it’s a horrible name! Like maybe I should have gone by Buck Bentley?"
Dierks Bentley's Sounds of Summer tour kicks off June 5 in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Capitol NashvilleThe lineups for the 25th Annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game have been announced, with members of Little Big Town on opposing teams. Jimi Westbrook and Kimberly Schlapman are playing for one team, while Phillip Sweet and Karen Fairchild are batting for the other squad. Nashville's Charles Esten, plus Lauren Elaina, Love and Theft and newcomers Lindsay Ell and Doug McCormick are also stepping up to the plate at this year's event.
This year's Celebrity Softball Game takes place at Nashville's First Tennessee Park on June 13. Proceeds from the game benefit City of Hope in their fight against cancer.
Dove Wedding Photography/CMHOFThe Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville will present an impressive list of stars performing and signing autographs during the 2015 CMA Music Festival. The festivities kick off Wednesday, June 10 with appearances from Chase Bryant and Old Dominion. Kelsea Ballerini, Danielle Bradbery and RaeLynn are among the artists performing at the Hall of Fame on Thursday, June 11 for CMT's Next Women of Country showcase.
Eric Paslay, Trisha Yearwood and Montgomery Gentry are among the other stars signing autographs at the Country Music Hall of Fame through Saturday, June 13.
Nancy Seltzer & Assoc.GarthBrooks will bring his Man Against Machine world tour to New Orleans, LA, for two shows in July. The stop marks Garth's first stop in Louisiana in 18 years.
The shows will be Friday and Saturday, July 10 and 11, 7:00 p.m. at the Smoothie King Center. Garth's wife Trisha Yearwood will join him for the shows. Tickets go on sale via Ticketmaster Friday, June 5.
Garth's next shows take place this Thursday through Sunday at the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN. There are apparently still some tickets available for the Thursday night show -- the others are sold out.
Burke/Triolo Productions/ThinkstockBrett Eldredge will perform his new single, "Lose My Mind," on NBC's Late Night with Seth Meyers Monday, June 1.
Mickey Guyton's self-titled debut EP is now on sale at all digital outlets featuring her debut single, "Better Than You Left Me."
Zac Brown Band's new video for "Lovin' You Easy" will premiere Saturday, May 30 on CMT's Hot 20 Countdown.
Kip Moore will perform an hour-long concert at the Daytona International Speedway Sunday, July 5 prior to the 57th Annual Coke Zero 400 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race.
Tim McGraw, Darius Rucker and Dolly Parton are among the stars singing a bit of Glen Campbell's 1975 smash, "Rhinestone Cowboy," in a new video at People.com. The clip celebrates the song's 40th anniversary.
Mercury NashvilleCanaan Smith is closing in on the top 10 with his debut hit "Love You Like That," and it turns out Canaan is just as romantic with his wife, Christy, as the song would lead you to believe.
He says, "I have no problem buying her flowers and stuff like that, but I’d rather show her I love her just with taking her out on a cool date somewhere, being creative like that."
Christy is the inspiration for a lot of Canaan's songs, but he says, "I don’t get cheesy with it, you know what I’m saying? I try to make sure I’m coming home as the man that she needs.”
"Love You Like That" is the lead single from Canaan's debut album, Bronco, due out June 23.
RCA NashvilleJake Owen captured a vibrant sound on his new single, "Real Life," that makes it feel like the listener is dropping in on a jam session with Jake and his band. What you hear on the track is exactly what Jake sang in the studio when they recorded it.
"We just left it as is," Jake tells ABC Radio. "I think that's pretty cool. It adds, like, a live factor to it. "
Taking that approach in the studio fits in with the look at small-town life Jake sings about in "Real Life." No matter where you grew up, Jake thinks listeners will be able to find themselves in the lyrics of "Real Life." The song definitely struck a chord with Jake as he's faced several changes in the past few years.
He explains, "I've been dealing with a lot of real life circumstances lately: my father's sickness, fatherhood, getting married. These are the things I wanted to sing about, and I know my fans can relate."
Mark Abrahams/SandboxShania Twain hasn't released an album since 2002, but she says during her upcoming Rock This Country tour -- which she says is her final one -- there's a possibility that she'll debut some new songs.
"It's to be determined," she tells Entertainment Weekly. "Maybe it will work out. I'm working on new music all the time." Describing her new music, Shania says, "It breaks my heart in a good way. It speaks to me. It's very personal music, but it feels good. I enjoy listening to it and writing it."
In fact, Shania says when her touring days are ended, she's going to concentrate on releasing albums because, she tells EW, "I don't feel like I've made enough in my life. I've got a lot more to say."
"I'd love to do a Christmas album at some point," she adds. "I've got all kinds of albums I want to make that I've been putting off. I feel like I need to grow another me if I'm going to be able to do it all."
"I need to get my petri dish out or something," laughs Shania. "And duplicate my creative self so I can write and record and produce and perform all at the same time."
The Rock This Country tour kicks off June 5 in Seattle.